A former Labour MP who worked with people from across the political spectrum on a local body campaign said he’d come to the conclusion that left wing people were far more likely to see things through a political lens than those from the right.
Some people are trying to turn Len Brown’s affair into a right wing conspiracy.
Cameron Slater, who broke the story on his blog Whaleoil, is from the blue end of the political spectrum.
But he doesn’t let that get in the way of his posts. He’d have run the story regardless of the mayor’s political affiliation.
That’s one of the reasons his blog is so popular. Like David Farrar on Kiwiblog, he’ll give praise and criticism where it’s due regardless of the subject’s politics.
Other people from the right had some involvement with Bevan Chuang but Jane Clifton points out:
There’s been much tut-tuttery about the fact that the source of the story was Cameron Slater’s Whale Oil, one of the country’s best-read blogs, which is aggressively pro-National Party to boot. Slater’s father ran the campaign for Brown’s closest mayoralty rival, a campaign Brown’s inamorata was close to through her friendship with another campaign activist. This has brought claims she was secretly working for the other side. Which just goes to show there’s plenty of hypocrisy, paranoia and self-delusion to go around. It’s common for journalists and political junkies in the twittersphere to denounce Whale Oil as “gutter” blogging. But not for the first time, the gutter-shunning media have piled onto Slater’s ruck without a second’s hesitation.
Allegations that this is a deliberate smear campaign generated from within the National Party to destroy a left-leaning mayor are somewhat ambitious. To the best of my knowledge, the National Party cannot make a married man have an affair. For two years. Or trick him into sending silly texts that might be kept and used against him. Or force him to conduct how’s-your-father in the Ngati Whatua conference room of the council chambers.
There’s also the inconvenient fact that the blog did not run the story till after the local body elections in which Brown was safely re-elected. He is unsackable. . .
But the political views of those involved in the affair and its exposure is irrelevant anyway.
This isn’t about right and left, it’s about right and wrong.
Andrew McMillan provides a timeline of events which show:
Brown, who portrayed himself as a loving family man and committed Christian had a prolonged affair.
He had a sexual trysts in council premises on council time.
The woman with whom he had the relationship was on a council advisory board. That’s not a direct employee but as mayor he was in a position of power and she could be considered to be vulnerable.
He wrote her a reference, and as a side issue he admitted writing worthless references:
Was it an abuse of power to provide a reference for Bevan Chuang?
It was the very early stages of us knowing each other. I have provided many references in supports of lots and lots of friends and people that I know. The letter of support I wrote was a reasonable letter. I tend to be quite positive in my writing for the many people I write references for. It wasn’t a reference that was requested or provided for that was out of the norm. It was, for me, a fairly typical reference done at a time when, quite frankly, we hadn’t known each other all that long. . .
A reference from the mayor would carry considerable weight but his words suggest he dashes them off frequently and in this case without knowing the subject all that long.
Whether that is appropriate for a mayor might be moot but the impact on his family from his infidelity and what it says about his character is not.
Whatever his politics and those of the people who exposed him, he is in the wrong.
Whether or not it will require a resignation will depend on the outcome of a council inquiry.
But whatever it determines won’t make his behaviour right.